Marvel Super-Heroes (UK) #378 (October, 1981)
Writer – Dave Thorpe
Art – Alan Davis
Letters – Perl Godbold
Colors – Helen Nally
Edits – Paul Neary
Cover Price: 56p
Welcome back, friends – to our X-Lapsed X-Tra Credit!
I wasn’t sure how receptive folks would be to me plopping myself back in the blogger’s chair – and resuming with some more text-n-pics based content. I want to thank everyone for checking out the first installment of X-Lapsed Origins – it did far better than I thought it would. Hopefully y’all enjoyed it enough to come back for more!
I’d love to hear your thoughts along the way – please feel free to write in!
Our second chapter opens with Captain Britain and Jackdaw being spotted by some policemen… now, why Brian would immediately be concerned by this is a bit iffy, but it turns out he’s got every right to be. Ya see, these coppers have guns… which, I suppose isn’t/wasn’t a thing in the UK… England… or Great Britain (if you’re familiar with any of my Excalibur discussions, you’ll know I don’t know the difference between the three – if any!). Anyhoo, the officers fire on our heroes… which causes them to flee – right into a hobo community.
There, Brian attempts to deduce just where (or when) in the heck he and his companion are. Unfortunately for him, these hoboes are so out to lunch, they haven’t the foggiest idea what he’s going on about. Instead, they just offer him a swig outta their bottle.
Jackdaw obliges… and gets some rosy on his cheeks.
This irks the Captain, as they really ought to be focusing on the task at hand, rather than getting wafted on some hobo swill. He sends his assistant dimension-hopping to locate Merlin and find out just what in the multiverse is going on here.
Then… a random junkpile (or, junk heap as the next chapter will call it) animates and rises from the ground. It appears to have a mad-on for humanity… and blasts our good Captain straightaway. We wrap up this chapter with Brian getting a good view of this weird version of London… while in hot pursuit of the “Junkheap that Walked Like a Man”!
A short chapter, yes? Only four or so pages, which looks like it’ll be the shortest for this opening salvo… but, not by much. Looks like these chapters will be anywhere between four and eight pages. Though, when we get into the Alan Moore installments, I would assume that we can spend quite a bit of time on even the shortest of offerings.
So, whatta we got here? Well – not a whole heckuva lot. Thorpe is still world-building, and showing us the subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences between this London and the (not yet established as the) 616-London. For the most part, it’s quite well done – though, as mentioned last chapter – much of Brian’s internal monologue reads kind of like a term paper. Just dry explanations of what he’s seeing… even though, we can see whatever it is he’s talking about right there on panel. A little clunky – but not unforgivable.
I’d wager that the over-explanation might’ve been helpful for those X-Fans of 1996 when this was reprinted in X-Men Archives to follow along. Well, those of whom didn’t quit trying to read this after the first chapter, anyway…
Let’s briefly touch on Jackdaw. Here’s a character I was 100% certain I was going to despise… and yet, I’m actually kind of digging him. I like how different he is from the stuffy and serious Captain Britain… and find that they play off each other quite well. So far, so good!
Overall – still having a good time with this little project, and I hope you are as well. It’s a lot of fun seeing some of these seminal moments… with the added bonus of getting to enjoy some very early Alan Davis artwork!
NEXT CHAPTER: The Junkheap That Walked Like a Man by Thorpe & Davis